Four�days after an orderly attached to All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the November 16 election in Anambra State, Chris Ngige, allegedly assaulted a Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Evaristus Ezeokwonna, the controversy raised by the action has refused to die down.
A group in the church, Catholic Youth Awareness Group, has demanded a written and published apology from Ngige.
But the cleric told reporters that Ngige did not slap him, attributing the allegation to those he termed �desperate politicians”.
Ngige’s orderly was accused of assaulting Rev. Fr. Ezeokwonna, Parish Priest of St. John’s Catholic Church, Ezinifite, in Aguata local council area and Chaplain of Man of Order (MOD), while he was carrying out the duty assigned to him during the burial of the mother of the Catholic Bishop of Awka, Most Rev. Dr. Paulinus Ezeokafor, last Thursday.
The incident was said to have occurred at Nanka in Orumba North local council.
In a release signed by Chairman, Catholic Youth Awareness Group, Benjamin Nnoli, on Monday, made available to journalists, the group said Ngige should render a �written apology to the entire Catholic Church, and should be copied to the Bishop, the Priest involved and published in two national dailies and the Diocesan newspaper,�Fides”.
But, Ezekwonna said he neither had any encounter with Ngige, nor did he (Ngige) or any of his security aides confront him at any time during the funeral at Nanka town Orumba North Council Area.
He frowned at what he called campaign of calumny and display of desperation by some politicians, who he said, would do anything thing possible to win election including tarnishing the image of fellow brethren in the Christian fate.
Also, in a release, Director, Media and Publicity in the Ngige Campaign Organisation, Charles Amilo, stressed that with Anambra State gubernatorial elections coming very close, people no longer have respect, and the organisation expects more of such.
Amilo said the allegation is the work of fiction.
Meanwhile, the Anambra Catholic Community has expressed dismay over what it called the use of the church as a weapon for political blackmail and name-dropping warning politicians to leave the Catholic church alone.
According to Sir, Livinus Maduka who spoke to reporters on Monday on behalf of a body known as Catholic Faithful for Change (CFC), �The story of a senator attacking a priest of the Catholic Church is yet another display of desperation and rascality on the part of these politicians who must exploit every slightest avenue to marlin the image of their opponents.
�Its is on record that Ngige is a Knight of St. John in the Catholic Church and has contributed immensely to the spread of the gospel though sponsoring of priestly ordinations, donations to parishes and Diocese projects in the Catholic Church. He has always stake the balance of assisting both the Anglican and Pentecostal community hence one wonders how he could go out of his way to attack a priest”
He maintained that Ngige has security details and protocol officers who has the duty of ensuring his safety hence the story of him attacking a priest is baseless and cannot be substantiated in any form or manner
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